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Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of U.S. Maize Ethanol: The Role of Market-Mediated Responses

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  • Hertel, Thomas
  • Golub, Alla
  • Jones, Andrew
  • O'Hare, Michael
  • Plevin, Richard
  • Kammen, Daniel

Abstract

With the recent adoption by the California Air Resources Board of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and USEPA’s Energy Independence and Security Act, greenhouse gas releases from indirect land use change triggered by crop-based biofuels have taken center stage in the debate over the role of biofuels in climate policy and energy security. This paper presents an analysis of these releases for US maize ethanol. Our analysis highlights the key role of market-mediated responses to biofuels mandates. Factoring these into our analysis reduces cropland conversion by 72%. As a consequence the associated GHG release estimated in our framework is just 800 g CO2 MJ -1y (27 g MJ-1 for 30 years of ethanol production). This figure is a quarter of the one previously published value. However, it is still large enough to eliminate the global warming mitigation benefits of most corn ethanol.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University in its series GTAP Working Papers with number 3160.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:gta:workpp:3160

Note: GTAP Working Paper No. 55
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Cited by:
  1. Nicole Condon & Heather Klemick & Ann Wolverton, 2013. "Impacts of Ethanol Policy on Corn Prices: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Recent Evidence," NCEE Working Paper Series 201305, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Oct 2013.
  2. Creutzig, Felix & McGlynn, Emily & Minx, Jan & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2011. "Climate policies for road transport revisited (I): Evaluation of the current framework," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2396-2406, May.
  3. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "The choice of domestic policies in a globalized economy: Extended Version," MPRA Paper 37816, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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